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Probe Into Yacht Disaster

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Updated: 20:05, Tuesday August 29, 2006 from SKY News

 

Detectives investigating the deaths of three yachtsmen have inspected the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao when it docks in Portsmouth.

 

James Meaby and Rupert Saunders, both 36, from Tooting, south London, and Jason Downer, 35, from Kent, drowned off the Isle of Wight on August 20.

 

No distress call was made from their 25ft yacht Ouzo.

 

Investigators have spoken to a number of ferry companies asking for their black box voyage data recorders which give details about where a ship is at any time.

 

The black box reveals the position of a ship, the course it is taking, radar information and any conversations which take place on the bridge.

 

P&O Ferries handed over the black box from the Pride of Bilbao, which is the only one of its vessels that travels in those particular waters.

 

AHampshire Police spokeswoman said: "Whether or not the data from the black box is relevant to the fate of the Ouzo has yet to be established.

 

"This is a joint investigation between Hampshire Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in conjunction with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

 

"It must be stressed at this time the investigation is looking at all ships in the area on the relevant date of August 20."

 

P&O said it released information from the 'black box' recorder following a request from the MAIB last week.

 

A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: "We are co-operating fully with the MAIB. As the investigation is at a very early stage, we believe it inappropriate to comment further at this point."

 

Their yacht, which was owned and skippered by Mr Saunders, has still not been found.

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Updated: 20:05, Tuesday August 29, 2006 from SKY News

 

Detectives investigating the deaths of three yachtsmen have inspected the P&O ferry Pride of Bilbao when it docks in Portsmouth.

 

James Meaby and Rupert Saunders, both 36, from Tooting, south London, and Jason Downer, 35, from Kent, drowned off the Isle of Wight on August 20.

 

No distress call was made from their 25ft yacht Ouzo.

 

Investigators have spoken to a number of ferry companies asking for their black box voyage data recorders which give details about where a ship is at any time.

 

The black box reveals the position of a ship, the course it is taking, radar information and any conversations which take place on the bridge.

 

P&O Ferries handed over the black box from the Pride of Bilbao, which is the only one of its vessels that travels in those particular waters.

 

AHampshire Police spokeswoman said: "Whether or not the data from the black box is relevant to the fate of the Ouzo has yet to be established.

 

"This is a joint investigation between Hampshire Police and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in conjunction with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).

 

"It must be stressed at this time the investigation is looking at all ships in the area on the relevant date of August 20."

 

P&O said it released information from the 'black box' recorder following a request from the MAIB last week.

 

A spokesman for P&O Ferries said: "We are co-operating fully with the MAIB. As the investigation is at a very early stage, we believe it inappropriate to comment further at this point."

 

Their yacht, which was owned and skippered by Mr Saunders, has still not been found.

do any companies sell transponders for yachts like they do for aircraft? They should make this mandatory to reduce the # of collisions between yachts and commercial vessels.

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Well said vous!

 

A very strange incident and hope they find out what happened. Amazing to think that a yacht, even a small one, could get run over by a ferry without either the ferry lookout seeing it or the Ouzo getting out the way or at least get a radio call or flare off. I dont even think the weather was bad at the time.

 

News reports seem very limited in detail but by the sounds of it, there is very little to go on.

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Could have been foggy - there are many many stories of very near misses in the fog in and around the IOW

 

In addition to AIS you can get a "SeaMe" this takes any radar signal hitting the yacht and magnifies it

 

I came back on the St Malo - Portsmouth ferry at the weekend and was surprised to see it cut inside what I think was Bembridge Ledge Cardinal Bouy - would seem it would be hard to stay out of the way of shipping without being really close to the shore.

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Well said vous!

 

A very strange incident and hope they find out what happened. Amazing to think that a yacht, even a small one, could get run over by a ferry without either the ferry lookout seeing it or the Ouzo getting out the way or at least get a radio call or flare off. I dont even think the weather was bad at the time.

 

News reports seem very limited in detail but by the sounds of it, there is very little to go on.

 

 

A real shame.

 

Hard to believe a ferry could run-over and presumably sink another boat. I mean, unless the ferry had a pointy bow and sliced the sailboat in half or something, I would think a small boat would bounce off to some degree. Certainly sustain major damage in the process-- but not sink so fast as it appears here. But I've never been in the English Channel so what do I know.

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I came back on the St Malo - Portsmouth ferry at the weekend and was surprised to see it cut inside what I think was Bembridge Ledge Cardinal Bouy

 

I'd be very surpised if a ferry cut inside Bembridge Ledge, but there is another cardinal just outside it called West Princessa, which marks the western edge of a shoal, which the ferrys often leave to stbd when returning.

 

I really can't see how a ferry could run down a yacht in that area, without noticing anything at all. I don't think there was any fog around at the time either. I think a collision with a submerged log or container, or some catastrophic failure of the boats structure is a more likely explanation.

 

Sadly, we will probably never know.

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Hard to believe a ferry could run-over and presumably sink another boat.

 

Extremely easy to believe if you have ever seen the bow wave of one heading towards you.

 

In the last ten years commercial vessels in the English Channel and environs have collided with one another, with a pier, with a massive defensive fort dating from WWI, with a highly publicised and well-marked wreck, and hit a beach under full steam with the crew all asleep. It isn't the least bit difficult to imagine one hitting a small yacht.

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Hard to believe a ferry could run-over and presumably sink another boat.

 

Extremely easy to believe if you have ever seen the bow wave of one heading towards you.

 

In the last ten years commercial vessels in the English Channel and environs have collided with one another, with a pier, with a massive defensive fort dating from WWI, with a highly publicised and well-marked wreck, and hit a beach under full steam with the crew all asleep. It isn't the least bit difficult to imagine one hitting a small yacht.

 

 

I could certainly imagine the ferry hitting the boat and no-one on the ferry noticing. I'm just saying it doesn't seem right that the small boat would get hit in such a manner as to sink her so quickly. Especially with a big bow wave. Then again, I guess capsize might be an issue.

 

There was an incident here on the Chesapeake Bay a few years ago where a tanker ran down a Catalina 27. The boat glanced off the side of the tanker and sustained some damage, but was found floating. That incident was noteworthy in that the people jumped off the sailboat just before impact (which I thought was really stupid-- and there were other reasons the people on the sailboat helped caused the accident which aren't revelant here).

 

It just seems to me that unless it is a direct hit at a high rate of speed (20+ knots?), a small sailboat in the water would be pushed aside rather than be immediately holed and sunk. I'm sure there are other factors involved that I'm not considering... like maybe the hull form of the ferry...

 

just speculating for the sake of discussion here.

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It just seems to me that unless it is a direct hit at a high rate of speed (20+ knots?), a small sailboat in the water would be pushed aside rather than be immediately holed and sunk. I'm sure there are other factors involved that I'm not considering... like maybe the hull form of the ferry...

 

Wikipedia reports that the ferry's speed is 22kts. Don't know if this is max or cruising speed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_of_Bilbao

 

800px-Pride_of_Bilbao.jpg

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In Puget Sound there have been several cases of sailboats being hit by commercial vessels and sent to the bottom. If the visibility is poor or no one is watching carefully it isn't hard to imagine a small yacht getting run over and the larger vessel never even noticing. The sailboat racing fleet in Puget Sound are required to carry radar reflectors, so that helps them show up on the radar screens, but a lot of the rest of the boats don't carry them so they don't show up so easily.

 

There was also the incident when a container ship was leaving Tacoma headed for open water when it ran into an "anchored" power boat that was in the middle of the channel at a turning mark. The boat got hung up on the bulb, didn't sink, and the couple on board that were interupted in their v-berth activities were not hurt. So getting run over isn't so unbelievable.

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There was an incident here on the Chesapeake Bay a few years ago where a tanker ran down a Catalina 27. The boat glanced off the side of the tanker and sustained some damage, but was found floating. That incident was noteworthy in that the people jumped off the sailboat just before impact (which I thought was really stupid-- and there were other reasons the people on the sailboat helped caused the accident which aren't revelant here).

 

 

The best part was the incident was close to the beach at Sandy Point and the couple swam THE OTHER WAY all the way across to Kent Island. Also they had to pay the tanker's owners for the repairs and inspections caused by the collision and the tanker running aground in a vain attempt to avoid the Catalina. Seems those ships can be damaged grounding in even our soft mud bottom.

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The best part was the incident was close to the beach at Sandy Point and the couple swam THE OTHER WAY all the way across to Kent Island. Also they had to pay the tanker's owners for the repairs and inspections caused by the collision and the tanker running aground in a vain attempt to avoid the Catalina. Seems those ships can be damaged grounding in even our soft mud bottom.

 

Yes. And the boat was found aground on Gibson Island (other side of the Bay) with a couple of scratches and a bent bow pulpit. Perhaps it was hindsight, but I remember wondering at the time why anyone would abandon their boat in such a situation? If you are in the water, you have a better chance of getting sucked underwater by the tanker's wash and possibly into the tanker's prop. This story has stiuck with me since then and is why I'm curious about this incident.

 

Seeing the pic of the ferry... it sure looks imposing, but unless it hits you dead on with the leading edge of the bow slicing the boat in half (which may have happened in this case), I still think chances are better that the boat will bounce off the ship.

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AIS receive-only units are available for under $300, and are compatible with many navigation programs and newer chartplotters. I have one that I have mounted in a small pelican case with sealed battery and other gadgets, and I connect it to a small emergency VHF antenna. It allows me to take it from boat to boat relatively easily.

 

It's no substitute for a proper lookout, but it is a fantastic tool to improve your lookout abilities.

 

RC I think I remember you said you installed one earlier this year. Glad to hear you like it. I may try and install same once I get a decent nav program set-up. Which one was it that you installed? Any recommendations?

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AIS receive-only units are available for under $300, and are compatible with many navigation programs and newer chartplotters. I have one that I have mounted in a small pelican case with sealed battery and other gadgets, and I connect it to a small emergency VHF antenna. It allows me to take it from boat to boat relatively easily.

 

It's no substitute for a proper lookout, but it is a fantastic tool to improve your lookout abilities.

 

RC I think I remember you said you installed one earlier this year. Glad to hear you like it. I may try and install same once I get a decent nav program set-up. Which one was it that you installed? Any recommendations?

http://www.milltechmarine.com/products.htm

 

I just bought this one. Should arrive tomorrow :)

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Does anyone remember the horrific story I did for the front page here on SA a few years back, the one about a yacht getting run down during the Singapore Straights Regatta?

 

I can't hardly remember it now myself. But it was a comparison with the Changi YC version (the Gvt censored one), and an eye witness account, with photo's from the rescue chopper courtesy of Reuters. Damn, why don't I keep hold of the shit that I write eh? I think Scot titled it "Something Happened".

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From YBW:

 

Inquest adjourned while MAIB investigate

Two of the three yachtsmen found drowned in the English Channel had time to inflate their lifejackets, an inquest heard today.

 

James Meaby, 36, from Tooting, south London, and Jason Downer, 35, from Kent, were found with their lifejackets manually inflated, while the third crew member, Rupert Saunders, 36, also from Tooting, was wearing a lifejacket which had automatically inflated.

 

The details emerged at a brief opening and adjournment into the deaths of the three men who drowned off the Isle of Wight on August 20 when their 25ft Sailfish sloop disappeared.

 

The Isle of Wight Coroner, John Matthews, also revealed that the deaths happened just seven days before Mr Downer was due to celebrate his 36th birthday on August 27.

 

Mr Matthews told the hearing how the body of Mr Meaby was discovered in the sea 10 miles south of Nab Tower on August 22 and subsequently the bodies of Mr Downer and Mr Saunders were located south of St Catherine's Point a day later.

 

Mr Matthews said: "It is known they were last seen on board a yacht called The Ouzo, which left Bembridge Harbour on August 20 scheduled for a voyage to Dartmouth, and nothing more was heard of them after the yacht left the harbour."

 

Mr Matthews said the three bodies were all found wearing yachting clothing and lifejackets.

 

He said: "It appears the lifejackets were in two cases manually inflated and the other automatically.

 

"In the case of Mr Meaby, the cause of death is stated by the pathologist to be consistent with a combination of drowning and hypothermia.

 

"As far as the other two were concerned, the pathologist says it is consistent with drowning."

 

Mr Matthews added: "At the time there was a large-scale search, both air and sea, once the first body was found, for the wreckage or some sighting of the yacht, which has not yet been found.

 

"There are police inquiries which are ongoing elsewhere. Not only that, there is an inquiry by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, but at this stage the cause that led to these three young men being in the sea is totally unknown.

 

"I will adjourn this inquest into the deaths of these three men to a date to be fixed when these inquiries are completed."

 

It emerged earlier this week that Hampshire Police's marine unit examined the hull of the P&O ferry The Pride of Bilbao at Portsmouth, as well as the black box data recorder of the vessel on Tuesday.

 

Police believe the men's yacht may have been in collision with a larger vessel and the police inquiry focused on the P&O ship after "something of interest" was seen on the black box.

 

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said after the inquest that they are still seeking witnesses who saw The Ouzo after it left Bembridge on the Isle of Wight on Sunday evening.

 

She added that no arrests had yet been made as part of the inquiry

 

One of those occasions when a sprayhood and a personal EPIRB might have helped? Horrid to imagine, though - floating around in the middle of the Channel - presumably in the middle of the night, hoping someone sees you.

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I hope all the unanswered questions get answered. I understand the hypothermia thing, but two of the sailors are reported to have drowned, period. Hopefully someone will explain the ways a person can drown wearing an inflated life vest, properly worn.

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One of those occasions when a sprayhood and a personal EPIRB might have helped? Horrid to imagine, though - floating around in the middle of the Channel - presumably in the middle of the night, hoping someone sees you.

 

Quite possibly. Sea temperature is 19C and http://bme.ntu.edu.tw/abc/17.4/17-4-1.pdf suggests a survival time of 20 hours, which would give a pretty good chance of rescue if anyone is looking.

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Happens all the time:

 

Sailor Dies After J/105 Sinks Due to Collision

 

June 20, 2003

By Stuart Streuli More articles by this author

 

 

Joachim "Joe" Schulz-Heik went into cardiac arrest and died after his J/105 Hilaria collided with a 122-foot motor early this morning. According to a U.S. Coast Guard press release, the accident between Hilaria and Mariner 3 occurred at approximately 12:45 a.m. on Long Island Sound, 8 miles south of Guilford, Conn. The seas were calm, but there was heavy fog and limited visibility. The 35-foot sailboat, which was entered in the Storm Trysail Club’s 20th Block Island Race Week, which starts on Monday, and was presumably en route to the island, sank quickly as a result of the collision, putting Schulz-Heik and two crewmembers into the water. After being rescued by a boat dispatched from the Coast Guard Station New Haven, Schulz-Heik went into cardiac arrest. CPR was performed by the rescue team and continued by qualified EMT personnel who rendezvoused with the rescue boat as it returned to shore. The 61-year-old resident of Larchmont, N.Y., was pronounced dead later in the morning at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

 

Hilaria usually entered regattas with both Schultz-Heik and David Florence listed as the co-owners. Last fall at the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, Schulz-Heik and Florence were awarded the John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy for the best overall performance in combined IOR, IMS, and one-design divisions

 

The Mariner 3, according to Ensign Robert Bilbo of the U.S. Coast Guard Group/Marine Safety Office Long Island Sound, is currently at anchor in New Haven Harbor. The investigation into the marine casualty incident in ongoing.

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Here in BC, there's an incident every couple years between a ferry and a pleasure boat - mostly power boats. A direct hit by a large ferry or freighter will basically disentegrate any small or medium sized pleasure boat and cause it to sink within minutes.

 

There was the one couple years back where a guy turned his rented power boat directly into the path of the ferry at the last minute. He and his son lived by jumping off the boat. Divers found and recovered the boat and found that the wife and daughter had been below with the companionway locked.

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There's been an arrest: from YBW.com

 

Ferry under investigation A 61-year-old seaman working on the Pride of Bilbao ferry has been arrested on suspicion of causing manslaughter through gross negligence. The man was not directly employed by P&O Ferries who own the Pride of Bilbao, but by an agency.

 

The man , from Dover, was arrested by detectives investigating the sinking of the Sailfish 25 Ouzo and the death of her three crew: skipper Rupert Saunders, 36, James Meaby , 36, and Jason Downer, 35.

 

He was released on bail pending further enquiries.

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There's been an arrest: from YBW.com

 

 

I'm presuming that this is probably the ships master.

 

On the subject of drowning while wearing a life jacket, surely this is called secondary drowning, and caused by the reaction to ingesting salt water, lungs produce a combating fluid, and too much will kill you. It's solved by having one of those hoods over your life jacket, which keeps the small waves from going in your mouth, and being swallowed....

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I hope all the unanswered questions get answered. I understand the hypothermia thing, but two of the sailors are reported to have drowned, period. Hopefully someone will explain the ways a person can drown wearing an inflated life vest, properly worn.

 

Cold water immersion shock.

 

Hit the water, hyperventilate, inhale water, drown, all within the first few minutes.

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Latest news - some wreckage has been washed up.

The high winds over the weekend have unearthed what looks to be wreckage from the yacht Ouzo that went missing on a passage from Bembridge to Dartmouth on 20 August.

 

The bodies of all three crew members, Jason Downer, 35 Rupert Saunders, 36, and James Meaby, 36, were found at the time but until now there had been no trace of the yacht.

 

The wreckage of the yacht was found on Hayling Island at the weekend at Sandy Point. According to a report on hayling.co.uk police teams and coastguards searched the area near Sandy Point after overnight storms washed up the wreckage... and officers said initial checks indicated the wreckage could be part of the missing yacht.

 

More news when we have it.

Sue Pelling/Yachting World, 4 December 2006

 

http://www.ybw.com/

 

http://www.hayling.co.uk/

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I hope all the unanswered questions get answered. I understand the hypothermia thing, but two of the sailors are reported to have drowned, period. Hopefully someone will explain the ways a person can drown wearing an inflated life vest, properly worn.

 

If you're unconscious when you hit the water, it's pretty easy to drown, even if you are wearing a lifevest that is supposed to turn an unconscious person face up and keep his head out of the water.

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Just heard on BBC news that a captian of a merchant vessel has been charged with Manslaughter due gross negligence resulting in the death of 3 yachtsmen. Presume this is the same incident. Good to see it has moved fairly quickly and will be good to hear more details of what happened.

 

BBC Story

 

Story confirms it was the ouzo and the Pride of bilbao ferry.

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Some of you may recall this one....

 

 

Rick

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Some of you may recall this one....

 

 

Rick

 

Nice post, wouldn't believe it unless I had seen it. How fucking dumb can you get

 

Darwin award on its way

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Nice post, wouldn't believe it unless I had seen it. How fucking dumb can you get

 

Darwin award on its way

 

While we are at it.. the final report on the Essence is not out. but its all here

Essence

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While we are at it.. the final report on the Essence is not out. but its all here

Essence

 

 

Does the USCG investigate such incidents? Do they make public their findings?

 

In Ireland, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board publises findings of fact.

In the UK the Marine Accident Investifation Branch does the same.

 

Some very useful reading.

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Its a well balanced report with quite a few interseting findings!

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If you have some coffee time to spare it's worth reading the full official report on the loss of the Ouzo.

 

http://www.maib.gov.uk/publications/invest...s/2007/ouzo.cfm

 

The 2nd officer is now facing manslaughter charges.

 

Juvenile D

 

Damn. Impossible situation for both sides.

 

How many times have I been coastal, at night, crossing shipping lanes, without the hatch boards in, waterproof handheld in my pocket, or a spotlight immediately at hand.

 

Sobering report. All to easy for small boats to get run down.

 

Poor blokes. Seems likely their yacht was not hit but capsized by the quarter wake, then floundered and slowly sunk leaving them swimming.

 

Don't know about the manslaughter charges. Can see both sides I guess. The officer has enough experience to know that if there is a problem its gonna get back to him. Gotta think he believed the sailors were OK. Or maybe I just want to cling to a belief that nobody would knowingly leave somebody swimming.

 

Man this sucks for everyone.

 

Wonder if the Earthrace guys realize how lucky they were to not have killed that fisherman in the waters of a developed nation. Pay off the family and resume your RTW BS race. And yea... I know they stopped to help but what option did they have given others saw them and they did run right over the skiff.

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Condolences to the famlies . Wrong place at the wrong time .The Ouzo came out of Bembridge heading around the corner towards the Nab tower .As one knows the tides round there are vicious . If they were heading south they ,would have had the ferry behind them on the same course .Sad . :(

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Once again the failure to use crotchstraps has been highlited. I think this has been a part of every report from fastnet, hobart etc.....

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I can remember reaching along the shore near a ferry landing at night during a race years ago. Each time we tacked the ferry changed course toward us. They shown their spot on boats near to them but not us. At first I had just made sure all the lights were on but when I did not see any sign they had noticed us, I just had the crew shine a bright light on our main sail. They turned away.

 

Now I would hail them on the handheld VHF, but that was before they were available or at least that I had one.

 

Reading this report makes me question what kind of radar reflector would have worked and whether lighting up the main is good or just confusing.

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I heard on the news this afternoon that the lookout was wearing 'glasses that impeded his ability to see the yacht's lights' The only kind that I can think of would be the ones that get dark in light conditions and vice versa. So if he was in a well-lit bridge looking out....

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I heard on the news this afternoon that the lookout was wearing 'glasses that impeded his ability to see the yacht's lights' The only kind that I can think of would be the ones that get dark in light conditions and vice versa. So if he was in a well-lit bridge looking out....

 

It's in the report. He was wearing photochromatic lenses, which (even though they were clear) only transmitted 80% of the light.

 

The report suggests that modern photochromatics performance is better. It also suggests that the performance of photochromatics might deteriorate over time - i.e. light transmission rates deteriorate as the lenses age.

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Does anyone have an opinion on the effectiveness of radar reflectors? From reading the report it would seem that a great deal of focus was spent on the radar screens...

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I understand that there are probably people here who know the sailors involved, and it is clearly a terrible tragedy.

 

But, with respect to the report, while many thousands of words are devoted to the question of why the ferry didn't see/avoid the sailboat until it was too late, there is very little consideration given to the question of why the sailboat didn't see/avoid the ferry.

 

Anyone who has read the report will have good understanding of how it was that the sailboat wasn't seen, and to me, the fact that it wasn't seen is not a huge surprise. It appears that they have a recording of one of the on-board radars, and it is known that the sailboat did not appear on that radar.

 

That ferry would have been extremely bright. It's huge, and it was moving at nearly 20kts. I understand that it made a course change some minutes before the apparent collision. I can only assume that the sailors would have been watching this ferry very closely, and I just can't understand why they weren't able to avoid her. One possibility is that they got confused about the heading of the ferry. A ship's lights can give a good idea of it's heading, but it is still possible to get confused. That's why I like to have radar.

 

This sailboat was only 25ft, and such boats don't typically have radar. Nevertheless, Radar is quite affordable now, and it adds a very useful measure of safety when operating in high traffic areas at night.

 

The closest experience I have to doing what these guys were doing, is sailing across the Gulf Stream in the area between the Bahamas and Ft Lauderdale at night. There are so many large, fast, ships - it's like crossing a super-highway. I probably wouldn't do it on a boat without radar. If you are used to, say, crossing the stream between Newport and Bermuda, I can assure you that, in terms of large ship traffic, there is no comparison. If I didn't have radar on board, I'd probably wait till daylight.

 

In the past, I have read other reports at MAIB - their thoroughness is absolutely amazing. I don't know, but I kind of doubt we have anything similar in the USA.

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Not knowing how busy the shipping lanes in that area, I can only compare to busy commercial traffic channels I have been in here in the states. Traveling up or down Delaware Bay I have always stayed as much outside of the shipping channels as possible, the same goes for the entrances to Blatimore and New York harbors. Would it have been possible for this boat to have been able to travel in the direction they wanted and been outside the shipping channels?

 

Will Museler

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The accident happened 6 miles south of St Catherines Point, which is not a particularly busy shipping area and certainly there are no designated shipping lanes there. A few miles further east, around the Nab tower is much busier, and about 10 miles further south there are the main up/down lanes for the English Channel.

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Not knowing how busy the shipping lanes in that area, I can only compare to busy commercial traffic channels I have been in here in the states. Traveling up or down Delaware Bay I have always stayed as much outside of the shipping channels as possible, the same goes for the entrances to Blatimore and New York harbors. Would it have been possible for this boat to have been able to travel in the direction they wanted and been outside the shipping channels?

 

Will Museler

 

 

The incident in question occured nowhere near any shipping lanes. The P&O ferry had left the entrance to Portsmouth harbour and was free to go where she liked. Most of the Channel is like this, only at the Dover Straits, off Les Casquets and at the Sciliy Isles/ Off Land's End are there 'Traffic Seperation Schemes' in opperation, ie. at either end and in the middle of the Channel. Most commercial traffic does keep to a regualr pattern outside these areas, but there can be vessels joining the flow from all angles. Also the nature of cross-Channel ferries means they wont be using the 'lanes' anyway.

 

What surprised me was that according to section 2.14.1 of the report a similar situation occured in 2000 also involving the Pride of Bilbao and a Moody 30 yacht in the same area in similar circumstances. In both situations, a small course correction by the ferry initiated the incident.

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Thanks for posting the report.

 

Desperate to think how easily it occurred and that the crew were likely to have been alive in the water for some time.

 

Based on the wind conditions and tide (wind F5 against) I guess they were standing off St Catherines Point & bumpy water putting them further out than they might otherwise have been.

 

Just a small piece of good fortune could have alerted an immediate search - they were probably in mobile phone range, certainly handled VHF or a personal EPIRB would have allowed them to raise an alarm.

 

Active radar enhancers such as Sea Me are very good. And AIS is pretty inexpensive assuming you have a laptop. Even a permananetly mounted reflector might have made a difference.

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Active radar enhancers such as Sea Me are very good. And AIS is pretty inexpensive assuming you have a laptop. Even a permananetly mounted reflector might have made a difference.

 

Will be interesting to see the report on radar reflectors from QinetiQ, commissioned by MAIB as a result of this incident; it's due out in a couple of weeks.

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Report has arrived: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources/Radar...%20report%2Epdf

Conclusions

The following is concluded;

· The Sea-Me is a good example of an active reflector (RTE) exceeding the requirements of the current and future ISO 8729 at heel/elevation angles of up to 15˚, it is also very small and light. Drawbacks are that it requires power to operate (which on a yacht is at a premium), it will only operate at X-Band and will offer no performance at S-Band.

 

· The POLARef shows excellence is possible but at a price, technically it just fails meet current ISO8729 [1] or its replacement [2]. The main drawbacks are it is very costly at £2000 and its quite heavy at around 5kg. It is currently used as a radar measurement standard although it could possibly be re-engineering for commercial production which could reduce the price.

 

· The Large Tri-Lens performs well especially at larger angles of heel and elevation, it just falls short of ISO8729 [1] having a peak RCS of 8.5m2 but otherwise performs well. It is the heaviest reflector supplied for test at 5.5kg and costs around £300.

 

· The Echomax 230 narrowly failed to meet ISO8729 during this testing, but showed good peak and average RCS performance. The reflector is reasonably priced at £130 and weighs 2.4kg; the main drawback was a RCS drop-off above

an elevation angle of 10˚.

 

· The Firdell Blipper 210-7 narrowly failed to meet ISO8729 during this testing, but showed good peak and average RCS performance. The Blipper is priced at £130 and weighs 1.8kg; the main drawback was a RCS drop-off above an

elevation angle of 10˚.

 

· The Standard Tri Lens does not meet ISO8729 as the peak RCS was too low at4m2. However its consistent RCS response outperformed most of the other reflectors when heeled over beyond 10˚; it is reasonably priced at £130 and

weighs 2.5kg.

· The Plastimo 16” octahedral is inexpensive at £16 and lightweight at 0.65kg but failed to meet ISO8729 in either tested position. It had reasonable peak and average performance averaging around 2m2 but had wide nulls which kept its

stated performance level down. Other drawbacks are that its mounting arrangement is by suspension only (often in an unfavourable position) and could be subject to damage.

 

· The Davis Echomaster failed to get close to ISO8729 during this testing. Its peak RCS is too low at 7.5m2 and its average performance is only 1.75m2. This reflector is priced at £60 and is lightweight; it can be mounted on a rod as well

as by suspension (in the correct catch-rain position).

 

· The 4” tube reflector performed very poorly.

 

· It is concluded that either the active Sea-Me, POLARef and the Standard or Large Tri-Lens radar reflectors are the best reflectors at heel and elevation angles of over 10˚.

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Scary that I have always assumed that our tube reflector is more than capable of doing what it was bought for. It's now heading for the bin...

 

What really gets on my tits is that there doesn't seem to be any official grading of performance applied to reflectors. If you buy a ready-meal high in salt our nanny state here in the UK tells you with a traffic light symbol that you are being very naughty, but buy a sub-standard radar reflector that can contribute to you being killed and there's nothing. Nada. Bugger all from the powers that be but a tax take.

 

If you ever sail amongst commercial traffic do us all a favour and tell your sailing buddies about this report and make sure your skippers take positive action.

 

Juvenile D

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On the subject of radars, i would like to share a strange incident i experienced

few years ago.

Sailed up the Red sea, crossed the Suez canal and entered into the Med from Port Alexandria.

 

Used the radar constantly throughout the trip for nearly 15 days, as you need to do a lot of night

sailing in relatively narrow passages with considerable traffic.

 

Leaving port Alexandria, at night, i was constantly watching the radar as there were many large

ships around and i could observe the relative movements of each without a problem.

 

Then suddenly i was startled by the sound of breaking seas right ahead and pretty close.

 

It turned out to be a massive, desolate, unlit, oil platform, with steel pillars towering hundreds

of feet from the sea. And not even a blink of it on the radar.

 

I could never resolve this mystery,but i still shiver by the thought of sailing right between the pillars,and being chewed up by them.

 

Since then, i think i lost a lot of faith on Radars.

 

On the subject of small boats colliding with large ships, and the survivebility of the boat, we should

note that the mast of the boat is in a very vulnerable position, especially with respect to the anchor

of the ship. It may make all the difference if your mast gets tangled up, and literally ripping

everything off the deck, with a potential of killing people on deck, before they even hit the water.

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On the subject of small boats colliding with large ships, and the survivebility of the boat, we should

note that the mast of the boat is in a very vulnerable position, especially with respect to the anchor

of the ship. It may make all the difference if your mast gets tangled up, and literally ripping

everything off the deck, with a potential of killing people on deck, before they even hit the water.

 

Omer you are one cheerful bastard! ;)

 

Juvenile D

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Nada. Bugger all from the powers that be but a tax take.

 

Oh yes, what we absolutely need is the UK government taking a more active interest in sailing safety. That's got to be a good thing, right? Consider the recent attempts to apply "working at heights" regulations to the activities of mountain guides and the clients for a fine example of the benefits of government intervention into adventure sports safety.

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Oh yes, what we absolutely need is the UK government taking a more active interest in sailing safety. That's got to be a good thing, right? Consider the recent attempts to apply "working at heights" regulations to the activities of mountain guides and the clients for a fine example of the benefits of government intervention into adventure sports safety.

 

Dogwatch I'm not inviting the grey suits to come aboard our boats and outlaw our fun. All I'm saying is that if you are buying a safety product shouldn't there be some way of knowing if it works? Lifejackets and life rafts are subject to meeting a minimum standard as are flares etc. Why not radar reflectors as well?

 

Juvenile D

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Thanks for posting very interesting

 

I have the worst performer ... ouch

 

The SeaMe scores very highly - I've certainly seen more boats with them over the past couple of seasons.

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If the yacht had a radar reflector then I hope the accused get's his arse kicked into the clink.

 

Round the solent, and anywhere in the channel, or for instance Cork harbour entrance or irish sea as a body of shitty dangerous water- it's a must to have some white star flares in the cockpit and have the VHF on 16 (despite the 'lack' of coastgaurd monitoring 16)

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terrifying to think that I have confidence in a non descript piece of inadequate tubing

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Also thrown away my reflector, spent the money on a big box of white flares and reflective stripes on my mainsail instead. :ph34r:

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Will an auto radar detector pickup on marine radar systems?

 

 

Sure, but it won't show up on the ship's radar. A better option than the radar dectector might be be to get a AIS Rx-only-- assuming that is if you have a chartplotter.

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Sorry, I fully concur with the skipper getting busted. An incident like that occurs and you don't hail them on the radio or turn around to verify that they are OK. Wreckless and irresponsible.

 

Chaos

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Sorry, I fully concur with the skipper getting busted. An incident like that occurs and you don't hail them on the radio or turn around to verify that they are OK. Wreckless and irresponsible.

 

Chaos

 

 

I agree too - We'll now get to see if the court does, but as an account from what went on onboard the ferry, this is truly frightening

 

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2767012.ece

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I could hardly believe some of the shit coming out in court, on the bridge it seemed to go something like;

 

Fuck is that a yacht?

Yes

Where did that come from?

Big left

Big right

I can see a light behind us

What do we do now?

They’re good, we’ll carry one.

Should we tell the skipper?

No, they’re good.

 

All the yachtsmen had lifejackets. One died of hyperthermia after approx 12 hours, the other 2 lasted about 3 hours. What a shitty way to go. Someone’s going to hell for that.

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I've read the MAIB report into the accident, which was incredibly detailed, and their conclusion ( that the Ouzo was run down by the Pride of Bilbao ) was fairly convincing, but I did think at the time that it wasn't strong enough to stand up in court. The bit that was missing was any conclusive evidence that the yacht that was seen from the Pride's bridge was, in fact, Ouzo.

 

I hope that the court are presented with something a bit more solid, and that the errant P&O crew get what they deserve. They undoubtedly did something that could have resulted in the death of the crew of a yacht, and the crew of a yacht did die in roughly that vicinity and at roughly that time, but a direct link might be hard to prove.

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I've read the MAIB report into the accident, which was incredibly detailed, and their conclusion ( that the Ouzo was run down by the Pride of Bilbao ) was fairly convincing, but I did think at the time that it wasn't strong enough to stand up in court. The bit that was missing was any conclusive evidence that the yacht that was seen from the Pride's bridge was, in fact, Ouzo.

 

I hope that the court are presented with something a bit more solid, and that the errant P&O crew get what they deserve. They undoubtedly did something that could have resulted in the death of the crew of a yacht, and the crew of a yacht did die in roughly that vicinity and at roughly that time, but a direct link might be hard to prove.

 

They looked at the Bailbao's bow - how they got something from that - not read the MAIB report yet

 

Always worth doing as an excellent example in fact finding post incident.

 

J

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If they had time to don life jackets or the stern light stayed lit for a while, it suggests that the boat did not sink immediately. It probably points out the need to have your flares handy and not buried at the bottom of a locker, as I tend to do. Note to self change that.

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If they had time to don life jackets

 

The court was told yesterday that the owner was very safety conscious and always insisted on life jackets being worn.

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In any kind of advserse weather, night, or offshore my waterproof Icom VHF is in my pocket or on my belt. It would have made all the difference for those poor guys.

 

The court was told yesterday that the owner was very safety conscious and always insisted on life jackets being worn.

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The court has returned "Not Guilty" verdicts on the count of Manslaughter against the officer of the watch.

 

Having followed the case quite closely, I'm not surprised. The evidence was not conclusive enough to secure a criminal conviction. Lesser charges under the Merchant Shipping Act of engaging in conduct as a seaman that was likely to cause death or serious injury are still being considered.

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If the yacht had a radar reflector then I hope the accused get's his arse kicked into the clink.

 

Round the solent, and anywhere in the channel, or for instance Cork harbour entrance or irish sea as a body of shitty dangerous water- it's a must to have some white star flares in the cockpit and have the VHF on 16 (despite the 'lack' of coastgaurd monitoring 16)

 

 

WORD

 

Here is a report from HUGO BOSS:

 

 

Close encounter on Hugo Boss

 

Updated : 3/12/2007 15:05 GMT

Last night Capey noticed a ship on the horizon that was coming towards us. I made sure the active echo was on and switched on the AIS so he could see us clearly, but the ship kept coming on a collision course. About five miles away I went below and called them on the VHF. I kept calling and calling but no joy, so I grabbed the search light to grab their attention and light up the sails.

 

We had our big furling gennaker up called the 'big fella' and Capey had tried sailing high and low but the ship seemed to alter course to keep us in their sights. At this stage it was getting critical so I grabbed a white hand flare and set it off but still it kept on coming. We had no choice but to put HUGO BOSS head to wind and over we went, sails flogging and mast nearly in the water. The ship passed by so close I could nearly read its name on the transom. Once upright and on our way again I went below and called again – finally an answer. I asked his name and that was the last I heard. Bloody rude and dangerous and very obvious that a proper look out was not being maintained.

 

The wind built overnight and now we should have a couple of days of catch up. Fingers crossed.

 

- Alex.

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I see that he has now been cleared of all charges

 

I hope his conscience is clear...

 

Having had Pride of Bilbao carve within 2 boat lengths of us before, I have seen their seamanship in action

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Whilst I don't in anyway condone the Pride of Bilbao officer's conduct, AFTER the accident, I don't think things are quite as simple as some here do. IMO, people need to focus more on understanding why it isn't that easy for a commercial vessel to see a yacht in time to avoid it and thus work out how they can take precautions to prevent this sort of incident happening to them.

Shortly after the MAIB report was published, our UK correspondent wrote an article about this. He's a very experienced guy and I believe you'll find it well worth reading. http://www.bymnews.com/may/ouzo.html

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